Sunday, June 12, 2022

Monday, November 28, 2016


I joined up with EDUCENTS to bring you these special deals for CYBER MONDAY. Take advantage of the great prices to find toys and educational supplies for your home school or therapeutic items for your special needs child.  

Click on this link to access  these awesome deals!!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Loving Our Children

  When most of us entered the world of foster care and adoption we did so with an understanding of what we thought love looks like. We thought we knew how to love and nurture a child. We thought there was one correct way to parent, which was the way we had been brought up and the way our friends and family were bringing up their children.

  In this world of foster care and adoption however, love may take on a different appearance than we were used to.

 Love means helping our children bond. When a biological child enters the family, we think nothing of passing the child around for people to hold. We even let them give our child a bottle without giving it a second thought. But the children we bring into our homes need to learn who mom is, they need to learn that she is safe, that she will feed them and meet their needs. newborns need this as much as an older child. To do this, only mom or dad holds baby while in a crowd and only mom feeds him. This is a critical stage for a "new child." As foster and adoptive parents, we long to pass our baby around so others can snuggle and admire her. But we also know there is a lot at stake, we know that keeping our child in our arms equals stability and love for them.

 As they grow this same concept may need to be used. Some children attach and bond easily, others struggle for the rest of their life and as parents we need to keep that in mind. Loving them means we take in consideration where they are in the bonding process and parent them accordingly.

 Sometimes "our children" as I will refer to them in the remainder of this post, need to learn the hard way, just as all children do. However, some of our children come from places where they needed to be in control to survive, this can even apply to infants. These children learn best from immediate natural consequences. It can be hard to follow through with a consequence when you are not with in the confines of your home where everyone knows the rules and expects immediate action. Love can mean following through with a pre agreed upon sanction, even though it may make you as the parent look bad. Our children thrive on the knowing that mom and dad are going to do what they say.

Sometimes loving our children means we have to say no to the things we as parents would enjoy doing. Our social life at the moment consists of church, family night and a few other activities because that is what one of our children needs. Love means saying no when we want to say yes with all our hearts.

Love may mean placing our children somewhere where they will receive the help they need. 

Love means advocating for our children even though we tremble in our shoes at the thought of doing so. Especially when speaking up and questioning someone wiser than you was always something you avoided at all costs.

Love means holding your child close and assuring them of your love after they have called you every name in their limited and sometimes not so limited vocabulary.

Sometimes love means putting distance between you and someone who is hurting your family by their words and actions. May be they undermine you in front of your children or they may do it in more subtle ways. We would all like to be strong and say these comments don't affect the way we relate to our children, but we are human. Right now the most important thing is to meet your child's needs, not revamp your parenting so someone approves of you.

Sometimes you have to put distance between your family and a child who is being abusive. This is another form of love, although it might not look like it and it certainly won't feel like it! By not allowing the child to continue to mistreat your family as well as sparing siblings more abuse, you are showing love.

Sometimes loving our child means listening while he pour's out the pain in his heart. Hearing things like, "I wish I could live with my birth mom, cause I grew in her belly." Listening and empathizing when only moments before he was screaming and throwing things at you, is a form of love. 

And then there are times where love means forgiving and showing grace. Our children are familiar with grace. If you ask them what is means they will say something like, "Not getting a consequence even though you deserve one." 

  "Sometimes LOVE looks and feels like anything but LOVE.  However if you search long enough, buried deep beneath what anyone else can see, is... LOVE!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Updates, Memories And An Educents Sale

Three years ago today, my sister and I were leaving to pick B up at TAP for his first home visit. I remember how nervous I was. 

For one, I was making the 3 hour drive myself for the first time, driving on 6 lane highways was a new experience for me! 

Also I was terrified Dean and I would somehow undo the progress B made at TAP. For the first time we were getting a glimpse of the little boy hidden beneath the pain and trauma. That little boy was a lovable little chap, one I could easily bond with and I was so scared we would do something to send him back into hiding.

  I am glad we couldn't see into the future. The few home visits B had that were a success were enough to show us he could heal and that we were not doing anything that was "making him this way." Which as anyone who has parented a child with RAD will tell you, is exactly what we fear...that this child's problems are somehow our fault.

 Joseph had a rough day on Sunday. We have no idea what happened. Things were getting scrambled on their way from his brain to his mouth and hands. Monday I was called into school twice because he was melting down. Thankful for friends who can take Lia on the spur of the moment while I go to school. This same friend served us lunch when I returned from the first meltdown, what a blessing!

  Yesterday I spent the afternoon with 15 energetic 5 and 6 year old's. I signed up to be the class mom for Kindergarten as I naively thought my life would be less hectic when my children were all in school. It was a joy watching their excited faces as we played games. They are so vibrant, enjoying life to the fullest. I took my camera along but it never made it out of my purse! Yet another friend took it upon herself to make supper for us. The food was delicious and it was another reminder that God cares, because yesterday afternoon was anything but peaceful around here so we probably would have had a frozen pizza. 


                  Kiana's class made these cute turkeys at their Thanksgiving party. 

Notice the sparkle in her eye's? It is coming back!!!! We are thanking God for antibiotics! While she still has a long way to go, she is certainly making progress. I no longer cringe when I ask her to do a chore, she plays nicely with Lia again and the screaming has pretty much gone away. Our little girl is coming back again!

Kobi waiting for the school children to come home. every afternoon around 3:15 he climbs up on the stump to wait for them.

I joined up with an educational group called educents. They have toys/learning aids for home schooling as well as special needs children. Check them out, they have some awesome sales going on right now.

*contains affiliate links

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Because Love Is Not Enough

    Before I took Joseph to Geisinger they requested his medical records from the pediatrician. There were copies from his previous evaluations included in the records they received and those records contained information on B because his diagnosis played into what Joseph was facing.

The nurse was clarifying family information and she simply couldn't figure out how B played into this.

"So B is Joseph's brother?"


"Does he live with you?"

"No, he lives with another family?"

"Okay, so you have Tristan, B, Kiana and Lia living with you?"

"No, B doesn't live with us."

"I am confused, it says in Joseph's records that you have a child named B living with you..."

"B is Joseph's bio brother and he used to live with us but due to xyz he was readopted by another family. So Joseph's records are correct but B no longer lives with us."

"Oh, okay."

I know she didn't mean anything by her questions, she was naturally confused but having to explain the how and why kicked my PTSD into full gear.

  Yesterday I had brunch with a lady I met via my blog. She was in the area and took the time to meet with me. Her story is somewhat similar to ours so even though we were virtual strangers, we could have talked much longer than the almost 2 hours we had until I had to pick Lia up at my sister.

I was sharing about B and how when we got into foster care our goal was to lessen some of the pain in this world but when we disrupted B's adoption it felt as though we were adding pain and loss.

  This dear lady said, "You know when a birth mom relinquishes her child because she cannot provide for it, we speak of the great love she has for her child. She put her child's needs before her desires, that takes love. Is it any different than what you did for B? You could have kept him even though you knew finding him a new home was what was best for him. You did what was best for him because love was not enough to bring him healing."

  "You have the unique perspective of being an adoptive mom as well as giving a child up because you couldn't meet his needs."

 I needed to hear that, her words helped create another layer of healing. I know I have said it before, but sometimes I am amazed at how much healing has taken place while other times I wonder if the hurt will ever go away. I have a feeling it won't, there will always be a dull ache when we think of B, the death of our hopes and dreams for him and the pain involved in relinquishing a child.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Joseph's Appointment At Geisinger & Life At Our House

Keep calm and fill out the next form....  a quote regarding the many forms adoptive parents have to fill out.

  After today I realized I would do well to add things like my child's birth date and the name of his psychiatrist to his medical folder. I don't know what the poor folks at Geisinger thought when they asked me supposedly simple question's and I drew blanks time after time. 

  I remember when B was the only child I took to this type of appointment and I had all his information on the tip of my tongue. Now I tend to give information about the wrong child and forget basic facts. The doctor wants to do some genetic testing before we pursue anything further for Joseph. We spent four hours on the road for a 1 hour appointment and I came home feeling's been a long week!

Joseph didn't complain about another appointment, after all he got to miss school AND we stopped for lunch!

When a friend stops by with iced coffee and GF cookies, you feel blessed!

I need some tips on how to get a child to eat breakfast before school. Lia has always eaten breakfast around mid morning, something I couldn't change. It wasn't a problem but now that she goes to school it is, I hate sending her out the door with an empty stomach. I have begun packing a sandwich which she eats at first break.

The other day while shopping, the lady in line behind us at the check out asked if she could buy Lia a treat. I said that would be fine and she told Lia to choose something off the candy rack. Lia was one happy girl!

Joseph drew this picture for me. His latest passion is drawing and coloring. When the children come home from school they have a snack then go to their room for 20 minutes of quiet time. Having quiet time was Dean's idea when he heard what my afternoon's were like, thankfully it is working! After quiet time Joseph usually gets a piece of paper, a pen and a few crayons and begins drawing.

Keep praying for Kiana and her mom n dad. After we finished eating tonight I quietly told Dean that it almost seems as if Kiana is already responding to the antibiotics. I should have kept quiet, she had an "episode" tonight, PANDA speak for a full on meltdown. I am reminded of the song, "One day at a time sweet Jesus, that's all I am asking of you...." except that I might change it to one moment at a time!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

A New Diagnosis = Renewed Hope

   Thanks to everyone who has been praying for Kiana these past weeks. Yesterday I took her to the doctor and she thinks Kiana may have something called PANDAS, which is an autoimmune disorder. When a person contacts strep, their body produces antibodies to fight against it. Sometimes these antibodies attack the brain which results in neuropsychiatric behaviors. Kiana is being treated with antibiotics at this point. If she truly does have PANDAS she will develop symptoms every time she is in contact with strep, so it isn't a once and done thing. There can be many complications but we are hopeful that the antibiotics will help her this time around and we leave the future in God's hands. 

   I was praying for answers for Kiana while researching ways to help her/what could be causing her symptoms. In a trauma forum someone mentioned PANDAS and on a whim I looked it up. The symptoms people shared sounded so very familiar and we felt like there might be a way made after all. When I took Kiana to the doctor I wasn't sure how to ask the doctor if strep were a possibility (at this point the PANDAS diagnosis is still very controversial) when I explained what we were seeing in Kiana the doctor said, "Did you ever hear of PANDAS?" I felt God smiling down and reassuring me, "I have this, just trust me." 

   Tomorrow is Joseph's appointment at Geisinger. I was told to expect the appointment to last several hours so today I am taking it easy in preparation. I also spent sometime organizing his file. I have a plastic binder for each of our children and I store their test results, doctor visit reports as well as the papers from their neuropsych evaluations in them so I have everything at my finger tips when I go to these appointments. I have included doctor and pharmacy phone numbers as well as addresses. Keeping things organized is the only way I can keep track of everything.